Dave's Not Here

Travelling Impressions

by on Mar.12, 2014, under Dave's Rants

About a year ago, I was traveling from Salt Lake City to Atlanta. Tammy and the kids had already been there for a week or two, and I was heading to meet them for a vacation. I decided to start my vacation at the airport, and visited the bar. And then ordered a drink on the plane too. I was also traveling very comfortably, in Birkenstocks and a tie dye.

So, there I was, probably reeking of whiskey, sandals off, leaning back, and I started to notice a couple of people next to me talking about a new book on trading stocks. One was going on and on about what a great system it was, and that he was so happy he had bought the book, and so on. Eventually, one of them glanced at me, gave a little smirk, and asked about my “positions” in the market. Then he rephrased, and asked if I had read the book. While I didn’t see him wink at his friend, I knew it was implied, “Watch me confuse this hippy”. Well, he did get my attention.

I glanced from him, to the book, and then back to him, and I said, “Well, it is not too often that altruism and capitalism intersect”. He gave me a stunned look. I could see the gears turning, “Need more time, too many big words”, they screamed. He finally muttered, “What?”, and I repeated myself. This time, he had clearly understood every word, but couldn’t make out the point, so he asked, “What do you mean?” I smiled, glanced at his book, and explained .. .

“I can only assume that the author of that book is a capitalist. He claims to have a system for making a lot of money “Working” the market. Yet, he has decided to share this with the world. Why? Is he also altruistic? Does he just want to better the world? Did you get the book for free?”

The stunned book owner uttered “no” before he could stop himself.

“So, he’s not altruistic — then, why is he selling the book? If he is just a simple capitalist, then he would want to keep his secret to himself, in case his method were blocked once exposed. I think it is more likely that he makes more money on the book sale than on the stock market. And, if that is the case, why would anyone take his advice?”

I think I heard him mutter, “Oh” as I leaned back in my chair, and started playing Sudoku on my phone.

Don’t fuck with hippies.

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